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Energize Delaware announced this week that the Empowerment Grant Program (EGP) funded by the Exelon Merger for Delmarva Power Customers in Delaware is awarding $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity (HFH) of New Castle County. In its application, HFH of New Castle County proposed working with their Central Delaware and Sussex County partner Habitat agencies and their ReStore locations across the state on an innovative program to provide improved efficiency, reliability and energy savings to Delaware income-qualified residents.
The effort will focus on replacing aging refrigerators with new energy-efficient refrigerators, directly benefitting Delmarva Power customers whose households earn 60 percent or less of Delaware’s median income.
The $500,000 is the first award from a $4 million grant made possible by the Exelon\Delmarva Power Merger Settlement approved by the Delaware Public Service Commission.
Seeking to ease the energy burden of hardworking, low-income Delawareans and improve their quality of life, representatives said, the three HFH affiliates plan to utilize their network to make outreach to Delmarva Power customers for the purpose of offering a refrigerator replacement program. The statewide collaboration will replace a total of 450 inefficient refrigerators with Energy Star-certified refrigerators. It is anticipated that this will result in a savings of approximately 432,875 kWh over the 18-month grant period, thus providing an average of $127 in yearly savings for qualified low-income Delmarva customers.
“We are grateful for the funding from the Empowerment Grant made possible by the merger of Exelon and Delmarva Power to provide an energy efficient solution to families at this most crucial time in our state,” said Kevin L. Smith, CEO of HFH of New Castle County. “Habitat for Humanity is concerned that all people have an affordable and decent place to live. Affordability includes an affordable mortgage or rent, as well a manageable energy bill.”
“I am very enthusiastic and encouraged that Delaware will have its first comprehensive energy efficient appliance and replacement program,” said Jim Purcell, Empowerment Grant manager. “The program will put Delaware residents in control of their energy costs through efforts to install energy-efficient refrigerators, helping to bring about long-term energy savings to their homes.”
“I’m excited about the potential of this program and its ability to bring savings directly into the homes of customers who will benefit most,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power regional president. “As one of the home’s hardest-working appliances, refrigerators can drive up energy costs and are an important component of energy efficiency in every home. We are committed to helping maintain affordable energy service for all customers and are pleased to see this funding go toward an innovative program that will help more customers take control of their energy usage.”
Additional program details about the EGP, including program qualifications, requirements and how to submit proposals can be found at www.empowergrantde.org. A Facebook page (@EmpowerGrantDE) and a Twitter account (@EmpowerGrantDE) are also available for public interaction and information.